26 Dec 2009

The New Republic: If Something Is Taken for Granted, It Must Be a Good Thing

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Arnold Kling links to this TNR article showing allegedly absurd warnings from the past, which are supposed to make current Obama-haters rethink their rhetoric. Funny thing is, a bunch of those warnings strike me as confirmed, or at the very least still open for debate. The TNR writers don’t actually give a “The Claim…The Reality” type analysis, but instead list these quotes as self-evidently dumb. Here is what the TNR writers say about it in the intro:

Conservatives have lined up in near-unanimous opposition to any progressive legislation introduced during President Obama’s first year in office. Whether they’ve been railing against health care reform, a climate bill, or financial regulation, their ire has stemmed less from legislative specifics than from a generalized prophecy of doom: Obama’s proposals will move the country toward socialism, bankrupt entire industries and small businesses, and deny Americans their basic freedoms. These arguments, however, aren’t new. Conservatives—not just Republicans, but various politicians and groups who’ve resisted major social changes—recycled them throughout the twentieth century. They used them to oppose numerous progressive measures that Americans now take for granted, from women’s suffrage to child-labor laws to Medicare.

Really, with that intro, you’re expecting to see all manner of crazy, bigoted things. Don’t get me wrong, some of the quotes ARE just that, but several of them are not only understandable, I think they are confirmed.

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